How Technology Has Changed Communication in the 21st Century

Students can learn more about technology through taking a look at the advances made in the last few decades.

By Debra Karr

Technology in the 21st Century Lesson Plans

One day, while substituting for the high school art teacher, I stumbled upon a box of yearbooks. The yearbooks were out for a reason – obviously the art teacher was responsible for yearbook layout.  As I leafed through the yearbooks of decades passed, I couldn’t help but notice how archaic and clunky the graphics looked way back in time. Before graphic user interface, and color, yearbooks from the seventies and eighties (even the nineties) looked so oversimplified and clunky. The contrast between the yearbooks of yesteryear and the yearbooks produced in the last few years is astounding. Multi-colored, highly stylized graphics and layouts with what seems like billions of fonts and state-of-the art photography is what fill the yearbook pages for the class of 2010. My, have we come a long way! And technology is what has made it all possible.

Remember DOS? Atari? Pong? I hate to admit it, but I do. Those were the early, early versions of computer interfaces, which thankfully, have been perfected to what we see today when we turn on our laptops. Just think . . . there are now entire generations of people now, who only know the computer. So why not teach them software and technology that can be integrated with their academic standards? After all, they use, and will continue to use technology both inside and outside of the classroom from here on out.

The next few lessons talk about practical applications, and methods of communication that have been influenced by technology. These lessons can help students become even more advanced in creating documents and other tools necessary to be competitive in today’s global, technologically savvy market which depends on communication to thrive.

Technology Lesson Plans:

Digital School Days

In this Adobe Digital School collection of teacher created lesson plans and technology integration, students learn about all academic subjects through creating projects designed with various Adobe Software products. Graphics, fonts, colors, and media manipulation are all explored throughout these lessons, all while integrating the standards.  This technology tutorial works for many subjects including language arts, math, science, and visual and performing arts.

Algorithms and Alliteration

This lesson is perfect for fifth through seventh grade students.  Students learn the literary device “alliteration”. They then create a presentation in Adobe Photoshop using shape creation, font choice, and color which reflects their own original alliteration poem. An example is given, so that students have something to model. You can also incorporate a vocabulary lesson, by asking students to use certain vocabulary words in their final projects.

Inventions and Innovation

Social Studies, global studies and technology are included in this “Evolution of Technology” lesson. The essential question posed in this lesson is: How does technology evolution cause political, social and environmental changes? Students are asked to discuss, analyze and write about the most important inventions within the last two thousand years and how those inventions have impacted our society on a social, cultural, and political level.



Teacher Education Guide

Debra Karr